12.02.2020 Selling Advice

Should You Sell Now Or Wait Until The New Year

Should You Sell Now Or Wait Until The New Year

Wondering about whether to list your property for sale now or wait until the New Year?

Here’s what you need to know.

Wondering whether to sell your Eastern Suburbs property now or some time in 2021? We look at what you need to know based on the current state of the real estate market.

Is Christmas a good time to sell your property?

A lot of people have a lot of theories about when is the best time to sell. Many swear by Spring; others like an Autumn sale. But few people will go ahead and tell you that Christmas is the best time of year to put your home on the market.

However, the truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all perfect time to sell. It’s about choosing a time that’s right for you.

Traditionally, Christmas is a quiet time for real estate sales. Once the final auctions are out of the way in mid-December, there’s usually only limited auction activity until after Australia Day. That’s because there are fewer buyers in the market, as people leave the city or turn their attention towards family and holidays.

But, even in a normal year, that isn’t always a bad thing for sellers. While there may be fewer buyers, there is also usually less competition from other properties. More importantly, those buyers left in the market are usually determined ones. Often they can be expat buyers visiting Sydney with a limited time to buy, or people who want to have somewhere to call home before school starts again.

Then again, 2020 is not a normal year. Thanks to COVID-19, we haven’t seen the usual cycles we expect to see in real estate over the past 12 months. For example, we don’t expect to see the regular ex-pat enquiries because overseas Australians simply won’t be coming home for a summer holiday.

On the other hand, many have returned home already and are here on a more permanent basis and a lot are still looking for somewhere to live. We also expect to see far more Sydneysiders stay at home and continue their property searches. There won’t be the usual overseas exodus over December and January.

This means there should be many more prospective buyers continuing their property searches during the holiday period this year, making this a different summer to most.

Off-market sales

Generally, at the end of the year, we’ll have listings on our books of properties due to be launched to the market in early 2021. Very often, we’ll have agreed with the vendors to take the property to auction in February.

But what often happens is that these properties sell off-market in the lead up to January, before they ever go public.

Right now we’re signing new listings for February auctions and, as usual, we expect a reasonable number of these properties will never make it to auction but will be sold off-market before we even get the signboards up in January.

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In other words, even if you do choose to take your property to market in early 2021, chances are you’ll get an acceptable offer well before then.

What will happen to the property market in 2021?

2020 has been a year like no other, with uncertainty the key defining factor. However, despite a few dips, this has not been a bad year for the property market in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

Given NSW’s current low caseload and the increasingly good news about a vaccine, we also expect 2021 will start with optimism.

With the first auctions scheduled for February and some noticeable pent up demand from buyers, we expect 2021 will begin with some solid sales. We also expect to see a short but sharp Autumn selling period. After all, Easter usually causes a pause in the property market and, in 2021, it will fall on the first weekend in April.

What about the proposed changes to stamp duty next year?

The biggest property news for 2021 could be the NSW government’s proposed changes to stamp duty. In November 2020, the government announced a proposal to swap upfront stamp duty for an ongoing, but smaller, property tax. This plan is in the consultation stage (the public is invited to have their say), and full details will be released in mid-2021.

So is this change good news for sellers going into 2021?

As NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said when he announced the proposal, stamp duty is “one of the biggest financial barriers to home ownership”. But the sheer cost of stamp duty also makes it one of the biggest obstacles for existing owners wanting to move house or buy an investment property. For example, on a home valued at $2.55 million (the median home price in the ‘city and east’), a buyer must currently pay $125,255 stamp duty. Step up to a $5 million home and a buyer needs to pay a whopping $288,490.

Details of what the ongoing property tax would be are yet to be confirmed, but the announcement indicated it would likely work in a similar way to council rates. At this stage, it looks likely that someone who wanted to hold a property for a short period of time would be better off under an ongoing annual tax, rather than stamp duty.

Given the lag between announcing this Budget plan and confirming the details of how the new system would work, the REINSW has suggested that it could have a short-term impact on the market, as buyers hold tight, to see if they’d save significant money under the proposed new system in late 2021.

Preparing to sell your home in 2021

If you’re thinking about selling in 2021, now could be the right time to list. Connect with an experienced local real estate agent who can help you prepare your home for sale.

If you are considering selling your property, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team for advice on the local market today.